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A Mistake That Worked



A Mistake That Worked

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.8

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    engineer, demonstration, fine-tune, section, sleek, beginning, fell, early, minutes, simple, working, quickly, ship, price, neighborhood, public
     content words:    Richard James, Betty James, James Industries, Poof Products, Toy Industry Hall


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     Spanish: Un error que funcionó


A Mistake That Worked
By Jody Williams
  

1     Richard James was an engineer in the Navy in the early 1940s. He was working in his home lab. He was trying to create a new spring for a ship. The spring would keep special instruments safe while at sea. A spring fell to the floor. Richard James watched as it went end over end. That was the beginning of the Slinky.
 
2     Richard James shared his discovery with his wife. Her name was Betty James. They worked together to fine-tune the toy. Betty searched the dictionary until she found the perfect name for the toy. Slinky means sleek and graceful. She thought it was the perfect name.
 
3     At first, Betty was not sure the toy would be a success. They showed it to children in their neighborhood. The children were interested in it. Richard and Betty got a loan. They formed James Industries. Four hundred Slinky toys were made. Each toy was wrapped in yellow paper. Each was to be sold for one dollar. The couple tried to sell their toy to toy companies. Not many were interested. In 1945, they decided to show the toy to the public. The Jameses set up a demonstration in a popular department store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They set up an inclined plane in the toy section. The toy was a hit. All of the toys were sold in ninety minutes.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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